If you didn't notice that we keep choosing between one incredibly corrupt clown after another and getting politicians from both parties that routinely sell us out. The 2016 election had the two most unpopular nominees in history, otherwise there's no way Donald Trump could have ever been elected. Wikileaks exposed the Clinton strategy of supporting "pied piper" candidates they thought would be easy to beat, and the fact that the mainstream media was working closely with their campaign to give them enormous advantages.
There's no way Donald Trump could have been elected if he weren't running against an incredibly corrupt candidate that Republicans hated and Democrats were at best luke warm about.
Before that Scott Walker outraged an enormous number of people attacking the education system, unions and more, enabling them to rally for a recall election which he should have lost; however most people don't remember the reason that he won it was because the Democrats rallied behind the same unpopular nominee, Tom Barrett, that lost to him in 2010 enabling him to win again and in 2014 they put up a business executive that he was able to beat before finally losing in 2018.
In Maine they put up with an even more extreme governor, Paul LePage, who only won because he was in two three way races. After years of outrage at his bizarre behavior they became the first state in the nation to mandate Ranked Choice voting statewide to ensure that this doesn't happen again!
There have been plenty of local governments across the country that have used it for years on a small scale. Last year Jasiel Correia was being investigated for corruption in Fall River Massachusetts and faced a recall, which he should have lost, with more than 60% of voters voting to remove him; however, the way it was set up was that the person with the most votes would replace him and he was the only one that got more than a third of the vote. There's little or no doubt that if they had ranked choice voting that there's no way he could have gotten over 50% of the vote, once they eliminated the lowest candidates and counted their second or third choices.
This increased the support for Ranked Choice Voting enabling it to get on the Ballot for 2020, possibly making it the second state to use it nation wide.
We're often told that anyone can run for office, and that this ensures that the will of the people is supposed to be done; which, of course, sounds great, and it would be great if it worked that way.
But of course it doesn't even come close to working that way.
Billionaires control which candidates we get to hear from for the most part with rare exceptions where there's an enormous amount of grassroots support for someone like Bernie Sanders for president, although there may be more examples at the local level when some people can get enough attention from the grassroots, but this is much tougher in large states. Ranked Choice Voting, of course, isn't the only partial solution that we need to implement; we also have to have much more diverse media coverage and enable the grassroots to control the interview process among other things. But it is an important step and it can help lead to other parts of the solution.
This is why the media practically never mentions it at all especially at the national level. It has gotten a significant amount of attention at the local level in some areas where there's a lots of grassroots support, and editorialists often try to smear it, in a variety of ways; which shouldn't be too surprising since these are the same media pundits involved in providing propaganda for corporate candidates that dominate almost all elections.
Right off the bat the establishment will be put on notice not to rig nominations for two incredibly bad candidates in the general election like they did at the presidential level in 2016. This will also enable local grassroots candidates to provide a strong showing attracting more attention or better yet win, assuming they can get enough media attention which is more likely in small districts or states.
One of the few relatively high profile pundits that actually challenges the establishment is professor Lawrence Lessig who defends Ranked Choice Voting in the following article:
Ranked Choice Voting already had an impact on the 2018 election in Maine enabling a Democrat to win over fifty percent of the vote even though the Republican won the first round with less than forty-four percent of the vote; and there's potential for it to impact the 2020 Senate race even more. This could also lead to greater voter turn out, since the supporters of candidates that might previously have been considered spoilers might have been less inclined to turn out, and perhaps already did.
It hasn't elected an independent or third party candidate yet; but it almost certainly enabled Tiffany Bond to get more votes than she previously would have as described in the following article:
Tiffany Bond is running for Senate this year along with at least two other third party or independent candidates that could all benefit from Ranked Choice Voting. One of them is Danielle Ravyn VanHelsing who I never heard of and couldn't find much information on, except for her Facebook page. The other one is Lisa Savage, who's a teacher and has been an antiwar and environmental activist for years, if not decades. There's also a lesser known progressive running in the Democratic Party, Betsy Sweet, who supports medicare for all and the Green New Deal.
Betsy Sweet is one of five candidates officially running for the Democratic nomination at this time; as far as I can tell two of the other four are probably less known than she is, and the media isn't giving them much attention. The other two are the Speaker of the Maine House, Sara Gideon, who's apparently involved in campaign finance scandals, and Ross LaJeunesse, a corporate executive with close ties to the Democratic Party, including some that have major credibility problems. Both these candidates are clearly traditional politicians that are not inclined to bring much if any change, although the media is giving them much more coverage which might have virtually guarantee that one of them would get the nomination if not for Ranked Choice Voting.
The one I've been following the most is Lisa Savage, since I was familiar with some of her on line activism several years before she decided to run for Senate. She's the type of candidate that the political establishment try to tell us has a chance, yet the deck is stacked against her in favor of candidates like Sara Gideon, and Ross LaJeunesse. Lisa Savage has made her positions on many issues clear over the years, and isn't a career politician catering to corporate interests. I know most of the fake progressives say that to but I suspect she's one of the rare exceptions.
Both Betsy sweet and Lisa Savage support Medicare for All and a Green new deal, among other progressive issues. Tiffany Bond may be better than the establishment candidates but according to her issues page she wants to improve the ACA instead of supporting Medicare for All saying "the issue with that model is it still fundamentally functions like insurance. Insurance might not be the best model for us, so let’s explore possibilities to get our system built right." The obvious problem with this statement is clearly that the ACA is also still insurance, controlled by private for profit organizations.
My own personal preference in the Democratic primary would almost certainly be Betsy Sweet, but even if she does manage to win it thanks to Ranked Choice Voting in the General Election I would probably pick Lisa Savage as my first choice. Both of them are far better than traditional candidates, and with the advantage of Ranked Choice Voting they may have the best chance of winning, for a good grassroots candidate, in years of not decades. Tiffany Bond or the lesser known candidates, either in the Democratic Primary or General election would still be much better than traditional establishment candidates.
As much as I hope that this could be enough to make the difference, it may also need a lot of grassroots organizing to overcome the inevitable media bias for them to actually win. But even if they don't win if they get a much better showing than previous years for independents or progressives then they could help draw much more attention for themselves if they choose to run again or other future candidates, some of which might overcome the establishment rigging of elections, assuming enough people wake up.
There are still other issues that have to be taken care of, the two most important ones might be media reform and election integrity. There have been plenty of media pundits that have been trying to tell us that this will confuse the issue and that it gives people multiple votes, or other distortions of the truth. Most if not all these claims are seriously flawed; the claim that people are voting twice ignores the fundamentals of Ranked Choice Voting, the second choice isn't considered unless the first is eliminated and only one counts, ensuring that the winning candidate gets over 50%.
Another potential problem is that we have to make sure that the people in charge of voting integrity actually want to preserve it. Establishment politicians have been using a similar tactic to push privatization for decades. they say government is incapable of doing anything right then when they get elected they make it incapable of doing things right, sometimes playing tag team with multiple candidates from both parties corrupting the way government works. But then when they hand government function over to for-profit private corporations it gets much worse.
We have to elect people who actually want government to work for the people, not for corporations and we have to put people in charge of Ranked Choice Voting that want it to work to. And, if something does go wrong, we have to consider the possibility that establishment figures that never wanted it to work in the first place might have some responsibility for it. this has worked at the local level in cities across the country for decades, we can make it work in statewide, and eventually national elections once we get it going!
If the grassroots wakes up a growing number of people, we can make this work and Ranked Choice Voting, along with diverse media coverage from alternative sources, could be an important part of progressive reform that we've needed for decades!
The following are some additional sources for this article about Ranked Choice Voting and some of the candidates running for Senate in Maine under the first election using RCV:
Why Maine’s Ranked-Choice Voting Could Go National 12/04/2019
A former Google executive moved back to Maine and entered the 2020 Senate race. Can he win? 11/12/2019
Maine Democrats running for US Senate united by motivations 12/08/2019 Maine's 2020 Senate race is shaping up to be a fiercely contested election fueled by unprecedented amounts of mostly out-of-state money if Collins, who has yet to formally declare her candidacy, decides to seek a fifth term. Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., and party donors in Maine and nationwide are already throwing their support and more than $4 million into the primary campaign of Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon of Freeport. Yet the outcome of the June 9 congressional primary is far from guaranteed six months out. Gideon faces at least three competitors for the Democratic nomination: attorney Bre Kidman of Saco, former tech executive and political newcomer Ross LaJeunesse of Biddeford and longtime progressive advocate Betsy Sweet of Hallowell.
Lisa for Maine
U.S. Senate Candidate Lisa Savage Condemns Airstrike In Iraq, Calls For Restoration of Congressional Authority Over Military 01/06/2020
Stop U.S. & Israeli war on Iran! 01/03/2020 US Senate Candidate Lisa Savage Condemns Airstrike Against Iran, Calls For Restoration of Congressional Authority Over US Military
Not just cheap talk but the real deal for once 01/10/2020 I’m Lisa Savage, and I’m running for the US Senate seat currently held by Susan Collins. I’m a teacher, an organizer, and a grandmother, and I want to give Mainers a Senator who works for the people, not the powerful.
Working the doors across Maine for Lisa 01/13/2020
Danielle Ravyn VanHelsing Maine independent candidate for Senate on Facebook
Tiffany Bond, candidate for Maine Senate issues page
Betsy Sweet Democratic candidate for Senate
Dem Opponents Seize on Sara Gideon’s Campaign Finance Violations 08/03/2019
Worried about social media and elections? What about our public media? 11/25/2019
Why Gavin Newsom was wrong in vetoing ranked-choice voting – and how to fix it. Part 1 01/08/2020
Why Gavin Newsom was wrong in vetoing ranked-choice voting – and how to fix it. Part 2 01/09/2020
Utah Tests Ranked-Choice Voting’s Conservative Appeal 12/13/2019 With its pilot program running through 2026, Utah joins 15 cities and the state of Maine in implementing ranked-choice voting. Most of those jurisdictions, such as Berkeley, California, and Takoma Park, Maryland, are politically progressive. In November, voters in New York City approved a ballot measure allowing the voting system in primaries and special elections of certain municipal elections starting in 2021.
Ranked choice voting? Why progressives want it here 12/19/2019
A look ahead at ranked-choice voting in 2020 01/08/2020
Ranked choice voting could be dream come true 12/23/2019 A bill has been introduced to the Illinois General Assembly that has the potential to make these fantasy scenarios reality. SB 2267 introduces ranked choice voting for state offices, and has the potential to upend the dysfunctional state political process we've become accustomed to.
Where Ranked choice voting is used Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a proven voting method that has been used for major elections in the U.S. and other countries for over a century. Multi-winner RCV was invented in the 1850s, as a proportional representation system to be used in multi-winner elections. In the 1870s, it was adapted to the single-winner form. It is sometimes referred to as “instant runoff voting," “preferential voting,” "proportional representation," "single transferable vote" and a number of other names.
Ranked-Choice Voting Could 'Change The Rules' Of Electoral Politics In Mass. 01/07/2020 Last winter, more than 60% of the voters in Fall River opted to remove Mayor Jasiel Correia from office. Then, something remarkable happened. On the same recall ballot, Correia was allowed to run for reelection against the four other candidates listed. He clung to power with just over a third of the vote. It was a classic example of a what political scientists call a "spoiler election." Joe Pereira, an activist in Fall River who helped organize the recall against Correia, is now calling for a new electoral system he said would stop deeply unpopular leaders from winning in spoiler elections.
Gov. Mills allows ranked-choice voting in Maine’s presidential elections 09/06/2019 AUGUSTA — Gov. Janet Mills decided Friday to let a ranked-choice voting bill become law without her signature, meaning Maine will become the first state in the nation to use the balloting system in presidential elections.
Governor Mills Statement on Ranked Choice Voting for Presidential Primary and General Elections in Maine 09/06/2019
Massachusetts voters may consider ranked-choice voting on 2020 ballot 12/25/2019 Four questions on their way to next year’s ballot are first heading to state lawmakers to give them a chance to act on them before voters weigh in. Supporters of the four proposed laws have already submitted the signatures of more than 80,239 registered voters required by the Massachusetts Constitution to secure a spot on the 2020 ballot. The measures would create a “ranked-choice” voting system in Massachusetts, increase funding for the state’s struggling nursing homes, update the right-to-repair law covering car repairs, and allow food stores to sell beer and wine.
Ranked-choice voting threatens to distort election outcomes 12/12/2019 This is one of many attempts to smear Ranked Choice Voting that doesn't check into how it's worked in some cities or offer an alternative solution to the rigged system that serves corporations rigging economy for the wealthy.
Opinion | It’s time for Michigan to join Maine with ranked-choice voting 01/10/2020
Can Ranked-Choice Voting Save American Democracy? 01/10/2020 By Isaac Chotiner
The somewhat absurd controversy over Maine’s ranked-choice voting system, explained 12/09/2018